The New Yorker: “Are You Experienced?” by David Means

‘Means is the author of the novel “Hystopia” and five story collections, including “The Spot” and “Instructions for a Funeral,” which was published earlier this year.”‘

From the point of view of this blog: David Means was the judge for the 2013 Willesden Herald international short story competition, awarding the prize mug to a story by Danielle McLaughlin, which you can read in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 7.

Valley Press: “Chalk Tracks” by Gina Challen

“A debut collection; brooding short stories of haunted lives and fragile hopes.”

“Lillian helps people to die. Ruth encounters an unsettling stranger on the towpath. Kathy obsesses over a painting. Robyn puts her trust in a fox. Mags is a forager; he takes the things he wants.

“Rooted in the landscape of the South Downs, where the chalk hills roll out to the sea, this incisive debut collection of short stories by Gina Challen explores the places where the familiar can become threatening.”

‘Mesmerised and amazed me in equal measure. How does the author cram such a richly textured narrative into such a small space? How does she manage to say so much with so few words?’ Katy Darby

Twice contributor to New Short Stories Gina Challen’s debut collection of short stories can be purchased direct from Valley Press. Also available on Amazon.co.uk etc.

Lineup for New Short Stories 11 revealed

Contents

Introduction by Gina Challen – vii

JL Bogenschneider – Miss Maughan – 11
Ursula Brunetti – Satellites – 31
Carol Dines – Forgiveness – 47
Derek Dirckx – Dark in Here – 71
Sarah Evans – Only Human – 91
Jeff Ewing – Fireball Outfit – 111
David Frankel – Meadowlands – 125
Ray French – Voyager – 141
N. Jane Kalu – To Have a Ghost Baby – 159
Marylee MacDonald – Caboose – 167
Jaki McCarrick – The Emperor of Russia – 193
Gerard McKeown – Rabbit Season – 211
Jay Merill – Vole or Mole – 223
Diana Powell – The Watcher – 231
John Saul – The garden designer – 241

Notes on Contributors – 257

~

Thanks to everyone who submitted. It was a privilege and a pleasure to read 292 short stories from around the world. As well as Europe and North America, there were a few from Asia and Africa. One from Nigeria is in the book and another would have been only it was snapped-up elsewhere. Each was a good try and many are sure to find publication before too long. The standard was at least as high as ever, and it was with regret that we had to pass on some due to sheer volume of impressive works received.

The book is being put together now. One of the next tasks is the cover design, which will be in the hands of Stratos, who has designed all the covers to date. Watch this space for news on the progress of the production and publication. (Ed.)

Novel Called Patience Published 4,581 Days After It Was Begun

Patience

via Novel Called Patience Published 4,581 Days After It Was Begun

And yes, believe it or not, Toby Litt is a previous contributor to New Short Stories. We have an embarrassment of riches, in that sense, though still seeking adverts (zero so far) for our latest edition, the eleventh in the series.

You can read “Veronika and Roger-Roger” by Toby Litt in Willesden Herald: New Short Stories 4 (2010).

BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019: “The Invisible” by Jo Lloyd

“WELSH WRITER JO LLOYD WINS THE 2019 BBC NATIONAL SHORT STORY AWARD WITH ‘TIMELESS’ AND ‘DEEPLY TENDER’ STORY INFLUENCED BY BREXIT, SOCIAL DIVISION AND FOLKLORE” (BBC Radio 4)

“Welsh writer Jo Lloyd has won the fourteenth BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019 (NSSA) for ‘The Invisible’, a distinctive and compellingly original story. Inspired by the life of an 18th Century woman from Carnarvonshire called Martha who claimed to be friends with an invisible family living in an invisible mansion, Lloyd discovered her story by chance in the online Dictionary of Welsh Biography. Set in a close-knit community, the story is both timeless and universal, and resonates profoundly in an age where fear of outsiders and social division is rife.”

Listen: Aimee-Ffion Edwards reads “Jo Lloyd’s hypnotic tale about the fantasies people embrace to make life bearable” The Invisible by Jo Lloyd.

Read: “Welsh writer takes £15,000 prize for The Invisible, based on a real 18th-century woman who spread tales in her village” Guardian report including the text of the short story.

Interview: Jo Lloyd on Winning the 2019 BBC National Short Story Award (Wasafiri)

This news continues a series of successes this year by previous Willesden international short story prize winners. Jo Lloyd won the Willesden in 2009 with her story “Work”, which you can read in New Short Stories 3.